Wednesday, January 20, 2016

SB1 Summary with three clarifications

The PrichBlog summary of Senate Bill 1 has drawn many readers and a few incisive notes.  It's been especially helpful to hear about three elements of the original summary that may not have been precise enough, so we're offering a revised edition, with the changes explained below.  The original post has been updated with the changes clearly labeled, and a two-page PDF version with the changes is available for download.

The revised summary says:
• A recommendations committee of three state senators, three state representatives, and three others appointed by the governor will make “final recommendations for implementation to the Kentucky Board of Education” on standards changes. 
 • KBE will adopt changes to Kentucky’s academic standards.
The earlier wording struck at least one reader as implying that KBE would be legally required to adopt what the committee recommends. The bill wording does not include a requirement like that.

The revised summary has two sentences on assessments to be eliminated if SB 1 becomes law:
Social studies assessments will be dropped. Readiness tests for grades 8 and 10 will also be dropped.
The earlier wording left an uncertainty about the plans for social studies testing in grade 5. The bill calls for ending the grade 5 assessment, the grade 8 assessment, and the high school end-of-course test for U.S. History.

Senate Bill 1 calls for hiring to be done differently at "intervention schools," and the revised summary describes those changes this way:
At those schools, the superintendent will select the principal with school council input, and the vacancy provisions of KRS 160.380(1)(d) will not apply.*
In a footnote, the revision provides the exact wording of the statute that will not apply:
* KRS 160.380(1)(d) says: “ 'Vacancy' means any certified position opening created by the resignation, dismissal, nonrenewal of contract, transfer, or death of a certified staff member of a local school district, or a new position created in a local school district for which certification is required. However, if an employer-employee bargained contract contains procedures for filling certified position openings created by the resignation, dismissal, nonrenewal of contract, transfer, or death of a certified staff member, or creation of a new position for which certification is required, a vacancy shall not exist, unless certified positions remain open after compliance with those procedures.” 
The earlier wording attempted to explain how that change would affect schools, but there turn out to be multiple possible interpretations.  The revised version allows readers to see the language for themselves.

Special PrichBlog thanks to the readers who alerted us to these issue!

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